Joseph Nahume Green

Joseph Nahume Green was sentenced to death in Starke County, Florida in 1993 and exonerated in 2000

Joseph Nahume Green was sentenced to death in Starke, Florida, for the murder of the society editor of the local newspaper who in a dying statement described her attacker as a skinny black man. Police focused on Green, who recently had arrived in the area from Miami and fit the description. A purported eyewitness with a 67 IQ initially described the killer as a white man wearing brown pants. Later, however, the witness positively identified the African American Green in a one-person police lineup. Although Green appeared to have an airtight alibi, he was convicted based on the testimony of the lone eyewitness. The Florida Supreme Court ordered a new trial, however, based on an erroneous pretrial ruling and ordered that a retrial, if any, be held in a different venue. The case was moved to Gainesville, where a judge found the purported eyewitness was incompetent to testify; the state was forced to drop the charges. Green is African American, the victim Caucasian.